Vadodara: The BJP government in Gujarat is aiming to inaugurate the 18-metre tall ‘Statue of Unity’, dedicated to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, on October 31, the birth anniversary of India’s first home minister. The towering monument, being erected at Sadhu Bet, 3.32 km from the Sardar Sarovar Dam on the Narmada river at Kevadia, about 100-km from here, will be ready for inauguration on October 31, Gujarat Chief Secretary J N Singh said. Singh yesterday visited the project site to take stock of the ongoing work.
“I visited the site to take stock of the project and ensure its timely execution. The ‘Statue of Unity’ will be ready for inauguration on October 31,” he told PTI. The foundation stone of the monument, a dream project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was laid on October 31, 2013, coinciding with the 138th birth anniversary of Patel, popularly known as the ‘Iron Man of India’.
Modi, who was then Gujarat Chief Minister, laid the foundation stone of the nearly Rs 3,000-crore project, being built on a public-private partnership (PPP) basis by engineering giant L&T under the supervision of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd (SSNNL). The memorial is dedicated to Patel, credited with integrating 562 princely states with the Union of India. Post completion, the ‘Statue of Unity’ will be the world’s tallest statue, according to the project’s website.
The ‘Statue of Unity’ will provide visitors a meaningful experience that both educates and entertains, by focusing on Patel’s personage, life, and accomplishments. Additionally, a viewing gallery at around 500-feet will provide visitors a spectacular view of the Sardar Sarovar Dam and its environs, the website said. The statue is going to be a “matchless” memorial across the world, Singh said.
“This place will emerge as a world-class tourist destination,” said the chief secretary. The project will also house an audio-visual gallery, a laser light and sound show on the life of Patel and a virtual tour of the Sardar Sarovar Dam, among other things. The venture also includes setting up a tribal museum, Singh said.